Hurtigruten has begun the process of upgrading four of its 11 Norwegian Coastal ships, as well as adding a new expedition ship, the Spitsbergen, according to a statement from the cruise line.
The extensive refurbishment of the first two, the Kong Harald and Polarlys has recently been completed.
The Nordkapp and Nordnorge will be completed in April and November, respectively.
“We are a first mover company and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters.”
The new look, named the “New Artic Interior,” includes the replacement of the nterior and furnishings typical of the nineties with a modern Scandinavian interior, according to a statement.
Of equal importance is the ongoing transformation of the restaurants, said Hurtigruten.With more than 100,000 foreign guests sailing annually, Hurtigruten has partnered with local food suppliers to develop the Coastal Kitchen concept.
In addition, Hurtigruten has purchased and is doing a near-complete reconstruction of the Spitsbergen. She was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard, and is now undergoing adaptation for polar waters; upgrading the cabins, suites and public spaces for the 320 guests; and adjusting the power plants and emissions for polar operation.
The ship will join the fleet along the Norwegian Coastal Voyage route later this spring and replaces the Midnatsol, which will join the Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.